Eco-Cha Tea Club is excited to offer a batch of Bi Luo Chun Green Tea from the first few days of spring harvest. The weather cooperated in the first week of this spring's harvest this year. We took the photos above and below just a couple days after our batch was picked.
In making Bi Luo Chun Green Tea, the leaves are picked when they are still quite young. They are harvested every 7-10 days, so there is still a lot of the protective "fur" on the tender young leaf buds. This is why the brewed tea appears to have fibers floating in it. It is the fine "hairs" on the leaf buds that mostly fall off in the rolling and drying of the leaves.
Since the leaves are picked so frequently, there is no use of pesticides whatsoever throughout the harvest season. The only time pesticides are used on these farms is after the tea trees have been pruned, to prevent microbial disease in the plants. Pruning is normally only done every 2-3 years. San Xia, the tea farming community south of Taipei that produces Bi Luo Chun, cultivates a now rare heirloom strain of tea tree called Qing Xin Gan Zai (青心柑仔). This strain is known for its tenacity in being able to tolerate continuous harvesting of its new growth, as well as producing a hardy, substantial leaf that provides a full-flavored tea.
The earliest days of spring harvest are known to produce the most complex and delicately flavored tea. The leaves have more substance as a result of growing more slowly, combined with a fresh spring floral quality that comes from the plants entering their heightened phase of spring vegetation.
You can see some of the action of spring harvest in this short video we made:
Honestly, we never really knew how satisfying Green Tea can be until we started sourcing Bi Luo Chun last year! It is full-flavored and complex, and it maintains is fresh qualities very well. We planned ahead to be able to source a batch of tea that was picked as soon as spring harvest began to share with the Eco-Cha Tea Club. The photo below shows the dried leaves of Tea Club batch on the right and our in store batch on the left. The leaves are just a bit bigger on the right, being harvested only a day or two later!
Read all about this tea's tasting notes here.
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